Countries & Regions
The Japan-Sri Lanka Summit Meeting
March 14, 2013
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
(Photo: Cabinet Public Relations Office)
On 14 March, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a summit meeting with H. E. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of Sri Lanka, who was paying an Official Working Visit to Japan. The overview of the meeting is as follows. Following the summit meeting, the two leaders signed the Japan-Sri Lanka Joint Statement entitled “Strengthening Japan-Sri Lanka Partnership beyond the 60th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations.”
1. Opening Remarks
(1) Prime Minister Abe welcomed President Rajapaksa’s visit to Japan for the first time in more than 5 years. The Prime Minister expressed his intention to further strengthen traditional friendly bilateral relations in wide-ranging areas, noting that Sri Lanka was one of the countries that former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, grandfather of Prime Minister Abe, made his first visit abroad after World War II.
(2) President Rajapaksa expressed his pleasure in visiting Japan after the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations and expressed his admiration for Japan’s recovery and its efforts after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
2. Maritime Issues
(1) Noting that free and open ocean is common goods, Prime Minister Abe expressed his intention to promote cooperation and dialogues concerning shared maritime challenges. Prime Minister Abe also expressed his gratitude to President Rajapaksa for welcoming port calls of Maritime Self-Defense Force vessels and stated his intention to expand exchanges between defense authorities as well as capacity building cooperation between the coast guards.
(2) President Rajapksa concurred with the idea of freedom of the seas and expressed his intention to continue to cooperate in maritime area. The President also noted that he would welcome the port calls anytime.
3. Economic Relations and Cooperations
(1)Prime Minister Abe stated that the Government of Japan decided to extend loans totaling approximately 41.1 billion yen and grant aid totaling approximately 2.7 billion yen to areas including infrastructure development and disaster prevention, using Japan’s technology.
(2) President Rajapaksa expressed his appreciation for Japan’s continued assistance to date including the construction of a hospital in the Northern Province.
(3) Prime Minister Abe requested to consider positively an adoption of the ISDB-T as the terrestrial digital television broadcasting system in Sri Lanka. President Rajapaksa stated that he would make a fair decision based on the reports to be produced by Sri Lanka’s technical committee.
4. National Reconciliation
(1) Prime Minister Abe appreciated the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka towards national reconciliation and nation building including human rights issues after the internal conflict. The Prime Minister expressed his expectation for the continued leadership of President Rajapaksa with a view to realizing national reconciliation including human rights issues, and encouraged the development with regard to an election for the Provincial Council of the Northern Province and an inclusive dialogue among all the political parties within the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC).
(2) President Rajapaksa stated that the Government of Sri Lanka had deployed a substantive amount of assistance to the Northern Province which was the site of the internal conflict, attaching great importance to the improvement of the livelihood of the general public. The President also stated that he would continue to exert efforts in accordance with the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC), and expressed that he was ready to hold an election for the Provincial Council of the Northern Province in September, to make appropriate efforts for the PSC (Parliamentary Select Committee) process, and to take necessary measures regarding the issues of human rights and accountability.
5. Regional Issues and Cooperation in International Arena
Both leaders also exchanged views on such issues as the UN Security Council, the situation in East Asia, and cultural and youth exchanges.